An Examination Of The Applicability Of The Citistat Performance Management System To Municipal Fire Departments




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Urban & Public Affairs


Local governments continue to face difficulty transitioning from performance measurement systems to performance management systems. The purpose of this research is to determine if the Citistat performance management system influences organizational behavior, organizational efficiency or organizational effectiveness in the local government setting. Citistat is a recent performance management innovation claiming budgetary savings and improved performance, but has yet to be empirically tested across multiple jurisdictions. This research examines organizational behavior, efficiency and effectiveness in larger municipal fire departments which serve a population greater than 100,000. Organizational behavior is assessed by a survey sent to fire chiefs of the largest 254 municipal fire departments.. The effectiveness of municipal fire departments is measured by dependent variables which include the number of building fires, the number of civilian fire fatalities and the amount of property loss. Data envelopment analysis is used to determine the relative efficiency of each municipal fire department using a ratio of budget and personnel to number of building fires and civilian fire fatalities. Findings indicate there is a difference in organizational behavior when comparing Citistat and non-Citistat departments. However, there is no difference in organizational efficiency and effectiveness when comparing Citistat and non-Citistat cities. Data for this research is obtained from the United States Fire Administration (USFA), the International City Management Association (ICMA), and a survey instrument distributed to fire chiefs of the nation's largest municipal fire departments. This research is pertinent to any public manager or elected official interested in implementing the Citistat performance management system because it contributes to the scholarly debate regarding the public administration values of efficiency and effectiveness, informs the reader of the theoretical basis underlying a popular new performance management system, and answers the practical question of whether or not a Citistat performance management system increases organizational efficiency or effectiveness in the local government setting.